Yesterday Microsoft Ventures showcased an exciting set of start ups and they certainly did not disappoint. For 12 weeks, the scheme helped advise 12 hand picked finalists from the accelerator that launched eight months ago , on how to pitch their product, their ideas and their passions towards groups of investors, commentators and 6 experienced judges.
Most of these companies make use of recent proliferation of smart phones, seeing the 1.75BN people who own a smart phone as an offer too good to pass up.
Aptly named “The Pitch”, Microsoft and its partners (Level39, ASOS and Growth Accelerator) demonstrated their achievements, with 12 finalists, incubated for 12 weeks with 1:1 tutoring from industry experts. The previously named partners were brought together in order to ’round-out’ Microsoft’s own expertise, making the event not just an opportunity for tech-focused start ups, but for retail, art and games orientated minds.
Paul Jenkinson (Jenson Solutions) and Nick Magliocchetti (Ventures in Motion) joined together to birth the JVM Technology Fund, of which these 12 are entitled to as part of their participation in the Microsoft Ventures Accelerator scheme. “I’m really excited about the tech fund, […] we can be hands on in the way others can’t” said Anand Krishnan, (General Manager, Developer and App Platform, Microsoft UK), highlighting the need for connections in modern interindustry, something which Microsoft can definitely offer.
Something that rings true for lots of start-ups, both within, and outside ‘tech city’ is cost. The ever present need for finance is not just to create a working prototype, but to break through into the work of London start-up business. Eric Van der Kleij, (Level39) uses his role as partner and incubator to help give a nurturing push to start-ups to help break through, “London is not a cheap place, accelerators help create a soft landing”.
Art collectors and museum curators don’t, apparently drink in the same bars, for this reason, CEO of Vastari Bernadine Bröcker has chosen to bridge the gap. Working on behalf of both art collectors and curators, Vastari hopes to increase the worth of a multitude of works of art, something which it has already done in half of the top-ten museums worldwide. When an art collector agrees to exhibit a piece of art they personally own, its price will inevitable go up, based on its public appearance, Vastari works with art collectors to build the highest price out of their works who showing them at non-profit museums, and simple generating a price of a work of art based on its visibility to the public.
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